The bears might be on to something hibernating for the winter. It’s cold, it’s often gloomy, the days are so very short, and shoveling rots. But winter also presents a fantastic opportunity to switch things up and find new activities to enjoy.
If you snowboard or ski, you already know how quickly winter can fly by. So if winter isn’t your favorite, finding a winter activity that you love can help the season go by faster. Snowshoeing, ice climbing, ice skating, fat bikes, and cross country skiing are a few outdoor activities that can keep you going. If you are really determined to keep paddling, with proper gear that’s possible too. But it’s not a bad thing to give your body a break and incorporate new activities into your lifestyle.
If you prefer a little shelter from the elements it’s a great time to try a new class at your gym, to see what cross fit is all about, or check out a climbing gym to name a few. There are lots of ways to stay active and challenge your body in new or different ways.
For some people winter is a season to slow down and hunker down with tea and good books. That’s ok too. If your body is really telling you that you need to slow down, listen to that. Yoga and meditation might be good options for you. But don’t miss out on other opportunities because you don’t want to leave your house in the cold. I get it. Believe me. But also believe that the benefits can be well worth taking that first step outside.
A huge part of enjoying winter outdoors is knowing how to dress for winter activities. If you are cold and/or wet, you will be miserable. So whatever your endeavor, gear up properly. That doesn’t mean wearing 15 layers, it just means wearing the right layers. We already wrote a post about how to dress for winter activities so we won’t reinvent the wheel here. Suffice to say, dressing properly makes all the difference.
Before learning to snowboard I was not a fan of winter. Now I spend months looking forward to it, thinking about where we will get to ride, thinking about what I want to learn to do, and it’s always a ton of fun planning our trip out west.
Once I had all of the gear for snowboarding, everything changed…no more freezing my butt off, or sweating so much that I started to freeze. Once you figure out what works for you, you can stay warm in all but the coldest conditions. You need different gear to hike or snowshoe than you do for lift service, but a little trial and error can keep you warm, dry, and safe whatever you choose to do.
Snowshoeing is one of my favorite things about winter now. It is so easy, and you really can go wherever there is snow. There are opportunities everywhere. Now I look forward to snowshoeing just as much because I don’t need to drive 3 hours to get there, and it doesn’t require a whole lot of preparation, planning, or equipment to get out there.
If you need more convincing, here are some of the reasons you might want to embrace an outdoor winter activity.
- The air is crisper and very refreshing.
- Snow is beautiful.
- There are few things more peaceful that being in the woods or the mountains in the snow.
- There’s plenty of fun to be had with friends!
- Or you can enjoy the quiet contemplation of solitude
- Snow angels
- Well earned hot chocolate
Do yourself a favor and try something new this season. If you have been interested in skiing or snowboarding take a lesson (or several). If you already snowboard, try hiking a line to mix things up, keep things fresh, and challenge yourself. If you want to go snowshoeing, join a group for a tour if you don’t know where to go. Find ice climbing instruction or an outdoor ice rink. Whatever it is, give something new a chance and take advantage of the beauty winter has to offer, and before you know it, spring will be here and you’ll be counting the days until it snows again.
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